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Maradona tips stern test for Germany

SoccerNews in European Championships 22 Jun 2012

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Diego Maradona thinks Germany will win their Euro 2012 quarter-final with Greece, but believes Fernando Santos’ men will put up a good fight.

The Al-Wasl coach praised the efficiency and coordination of Joachim Loew’s side, and is confident Germany have found the right balance between style and strength to overcome the Greeks and any subsequent opponents.

However, he expects the Euro 2004 champions to have their fair share of opportunities to stun the side he believes are favourites to emerge victorious in Poland and Ukraine.

“Fernando Santos knows he has the game of his life in his hands, as he faces an uphill battle of gargantuan magnitude,” Maradona wrote in the Times of India.

“But if 300 Greeks were able to hold off 10,000 Persians at Thermopylae, than 11 Greeks certainly will have a chance against 11 Germans.

“He pulled off a miracle in defeating the Russians and will have to redouble the spirit of his team on this night in Gdansk.

“The German team are fit, young, and powerful. The Greeks are tough, old and experienced. This championship has emphasised power and strength, and although I am sure that the Greeks will put up a heroic resistance, Germany should win.

“It’s easy to admire this German team. They have youth, talent and power and are definitely the overwhelming favourites to win this match, and possibly the championship.”

Maradona feels this tournament has heralded a change in style, with tall, strong players such as Mario Gomez, Andy Carroll, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Cristiano Ronaldo all getting on the scoresheet.

“The European Championship has so far shown a definite shift in the balance between finesse football in favour of pure power,” he said.

“(These big strikers) have all scored fantastic goals that emphasise their physical prowess, a dominance of size and strength.

“Smaller geniuses such as Luka Modric of Croatia, Wesley Sneijder of Netherlands, Andrey Arshavin of Russia have had to go home early in what has evolved into a more physical and faster competition that favours certain physically more powerful national teams.”

Germany clash with Greece on Friday, with the winner to take on either England or Italy in the semis.

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